Walter Lechner Sr has passed away at the age of 71.
Lechner’s record shows that he had quite the pedigree as a race driver, twice a starter at Le Mans in the Group C era, a successful championship-winning competitor for many years in Interserie racing, and much more besides, he’ll be best remembered as one of THE principal forces behind modern one-make Porsche racing.
From the establishment of his own team in the late 1970s, initially, via a race driving school, that oversaw the talents of a number of emerging talents, including Stefan Bellof and, notoriously, current Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal Toto Woolf who Lechner advised to “Go and do something useful instead, you’re too slow for F1!” Lechner built a reputation amongst a hard to impress community.
From race team owner to Championship organiser, Lechner Racing was the force behind Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, operated as a license holder from Porsche from its inception in 2009/10 and to date.
As a team owner, there has been an unbroken and hugely successful history in Porsche Supercup, 11 teams title wins including a seventh consecutive title this year and seven Drivers Championships with Rene Rast and Michael Ammermuller taking three apiece, plus a title for Sven Müller
There’s’ been a long history too of involvement with the Carrera Cup Deutschland, again with multiple teams and drivers titles, and an inaugural programme with Carrera Cup France saw the title taken this year by the team with Jaxon Evans.
Jaxon Evans: “Lost for words, incredibly saddened to learn the passing of Walter Lechner Snr today. I hold the utmost respect for him and his legacy, I will forever cherish the memories we shared and be proud of what we achieved as a team. Thank you for everything Walter.”
Julien Andlauer: “I am devastated this morning to see that you left us Walter. I’ve learned so much thanks to you, as a driver but also as a human, I made the most important step in my journey thanks to you and the whole Lechner Racing Family and I’m more than happy to have been in this family.”
Dan Cammish: “Saddened to hear the passing of Walter Lechner. Such an amazing man and team boss. It was a real pleasure to have known you. Thank you for the support and your wise words when they were needed most. Many memories but for me none bigger than a Monaco 1-2-3!”
Nick Yelloly: Rest easy Walter! It was a pleasure to compete against you for my years sat in a Cup car, such a great outfit you put together, you will be missed around the paddock.”
Walter is survived by his wife Christine and their sons Robert and Walter Jr. All at DSC send our condolences to them and to Walter’s countless friends in the motorsport community and beyond.